The Mark Internet Lodge November 2016 to November 2019

What a Wonderful time from November 2016 to November 2019

Brethren,
Good morning.
Please let me start this musings which started on November 12th 2016.
(It is true to say that it may/did start a few months before this in a small tavern somewhere!)

But on the 12th 5 Brethren of the Craft Internet Lodge 9659 were advanced into “The Mark Internet Lodge 1975” at the Lodges first regular meeting in a small masonic hall in Castleton (just of the M4 between Newport & Cardiff).
I should like to add I became the first joining member at the meeting.

The first five advances with the WM tmil1975 WBro Royston Morris PGStdB

Please keep this photo in your head or mind as it shows Brother Cristian Mihutoiu
and the WM WBro Royston Morris in the Castleton temple.

From that first meeting it was like a “Roller Coaster” the next meeting under dispensation was held in Bucharest, advancing 32 on the Wednesday and (just) 29 more on the Thursday, BUT first we have to experience Tuesday.

Leaving our hotel in a wonderful air conditioned coach and headed for rehearsal at the Temple in Club Del Vecchio, in Bucharest (only 20 mins away). Well rehearsal was fine with full AC!, when we managed our way around Monmouthshire workings!
I speak to soon as we were exiting the Temple for finger buffet lunch the room was plunged into darkness and getting warmer (30-40 and rising) as the AC was cut. We latter found that a digger had sliced through a local HT electricity cable, thankfully the driver and workers were fine if not shaken!

Shirt sleeve order with no AC!

Left

Right

Look this way!

The Lodge was ready for the afternoon candidates

So lunch and then a ceremony in shirt sleeve order with light from the windows, we were in a private park, so not overlooked, 30+ advances an experience not to miss. Festive board was taken in the private park with a wonderful BBQ!
Topping of the visit with a wonderful Grand Gala Dinner with the ladies

Wednesday seemed to be a “doddle” with power now fixed but opting for the outside BBQ

Wednesday Brethren and candidates “Relax”

The PGM (now PPGM) of Monmouthshire Derek Thomas & the GM (Craft) of Romania Radu Balanescu RELX in the gala dinner.

Well it was back to the UK for most of the members of 1975, and prepare for the next regular meeting in Blackwood, Monmouthshire and the installation of our new WM WBro Michael Herman.

Now wait its still November 2017 and another visit to Bucharest for more advancements into the order, power permitting!
It’s a two-day event again in the Temple in Club Del Vecchio again its 30+ candidates each day without BBQ festive board, well it is November!

What a wonderful event with new friendships struck up and old ones (not that old) rekindled.
And for the waistline no Grand Gala dinner!

Tuesday’s Event                                    Wednesday’s Event

So we are home for Christmas and preparing for the next meeting, in March and this time is not just advancements but the consecration of the first Mark Lodge in Romania The Alexandru Valida-Voevod Lodge No 1988.
However, the European weather is try its hardest to put the dampers on the event with the “Beast from the East” raging in UK, I sat with others on the tarmac of BHX for 5+ hours before being told to disembark as we were going nowhere! I manage to get a taxi home as I live very close to Birmingham airport whilst other were coached to Warwick and Longbridge island Hotel.

Birmingham Airport Friday night (not a lot better Saturday!)

But the next day my wife (with difficulty) drove through the snow to drop me back at BHX, and we archived V1 and take off for OPT and Bucharest, sadly our airplane couldn’t arrive until the festive board was in full swing after tmil1975 meeting BUT were and the visitation and consecrating team from London were there in the afternoon.

The Brethren and officers of Alexandru Vaida-Voevod Lodge No 1988

So a different Hotel but the Temple prepared in the Ramada North.
Rehearsal conducted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies were practiced and perfected, making the ceremony a wonderful delight, as a brother seeing one consecration was an eye opener and GRAND, I didn’t expect the next 6!

The Consecrating Team

Topping the day off with a Grand Gala dinner and charity presentation to a local children’s orphanage didn’t leave to many dry eyes!

The Children from the orphanage who entertained at the dinner
Now a break BUT no June 2018 see the second Lodge Nicolae Titulescu No1991
consecrated, this time at HQ in 86 St. James with Brother Cristian Mihutoiu becoming the Worshipful Master. Fantastic, I can say no more.

 

The WM and consecrating team for Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No 1991

The Mark Internet Lodge now has its next regular meeting in Radlett, preparing for the next sojourn to Constanta (Black Sea resort) in October.

21 members of tmil1975 fly Wizz air from Luton to Constanta, on arrival late in the evening I am directed by the Wizz air dispatcher to put the party on airport bus 1, and to tell Romanians on the plane they must go to buses 2,3 & 4!
So with the 21 on the airport bus we went the distance of! No more that 250 meters!
The airport terminal entranced VIP was adorned with 2 pillars (I’ll go no further) a red carpet Union, Romanian, EU and NATO flags with refreshments for all. Passports were asked for and parted with (after questions from my wife!) cases identified but told to leave as they were packed into the coach, not all of us could fit into the coach so my wife and I were driven to the Hotel with the coach as escort. A welcome meal and rest.
The next day saw the consecrating team and their ladies given the same VIP treatment, with yesterday’s arrivals enjoying the out of season Constanta city, after first advancing brethren into tmil1975

So the ceremonies with tmil1975 advancing more candidates into the degree and a third consecration the Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993. Thank you to all the consecrating Officers for a wonderful ceremony.

Members of the newly consecrated Lodge of Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993

The Consecrating team

Grand Gala Dinner followed a short drive away to a wonderful setting overlooking the beach and the lapping waves of the Black Sea.
November 2018 see’s the installation of WBro Timothy Huckle in Chepstow under dispensation, with a box of new officers to fill their offices.

Now we thought 2018 was hectic, 2019 brings more journey’s to Romania, April to the city of Iasi in the East (Moldovia next street?).
Iasi a wonderful city if not a little damp with culture visits to palaces and meeting in the Palace of Culture. These meetings include advancing more candidates into tmil1975 and the Consecration of Eugeniu Carada Lodge No 2004. Not to mention someone’s birthday party David!

Happy Birthday Provincial Grand Master!

Eugeniu Carata Lodge No 2010

The Consecrating team enters

May to Timisora to the West again advancing brethren into tmil1975 and the consecration of The Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010. Timisora was the second city in the world to have electric street lighting.

The Advances and tmil1975

The Brethren of Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010

The consecrating team and Lodge members Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010

June see tmil1975 in Portland (not USA) Dorset for its regular meeting and only 1 brother to Advance Bro Haddon Sullivan, but with equal enjoyment from the members and their ladies for a much smaller Gala dinner.

Not to worry we are soon (July) either flying Wizz, Blue Air or even Ryan Air again this time to Sibiu again in the West for advancement’s and the consecration of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011 a beautiful colourful city.

The advances and tmil1975

Members of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011

The consecrating team

And so to the latest sojourn to Bucharest for advancements, consecration of a new (7th) Lodge and the consecration of the Grand Inspectorate of Mark Master Masons of Romania

From touch down at OPT to take off for BHX a fantastic weekend,

Started with the Installation of Bro Vasile Condoiu (NOW Worshipful Brother) and the Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No.1991 on the Thursday lunch time, conferring secrets of the chair to Bro’s Florin Carata & Adrian Dimitriu two of the most wonderfully hard-working Marked men from Bucharest.
Lunch was enjoyed and the afternoon free to meet and greet brethren arriving from all points west.

Members and guest all of The Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No 1991

The PPGM (Mons) Derek Thomas & the newly installed master WBro Vasile Condoiu

The PPGM (Mons) Derek Thomas & WBro Florin Carata & WBro Adrian Dimitriu

So an early start on Friday with the Lodges emergency meeting to advance more very keen masons from Bucharest into the Mark Internet Lodge No 1975. 36 advanced with the declared candidate “John” being conducted through the ceremony by visiting officers from the Province standing in for regular officers who sadly were unable to attend (You missed a GREAT weekend).

Advances and members of tmil1975

Following a snack and juice break it was quickly back into the Temple for rehearsal for the consecration of Romanian Mark Lodge Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No. 2015.

The consecrating team and members of Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No 2015

What a wonderful ceremony, at least the parts I was able to see, and I have no reason to expect that part performed within that above Brothers below the chair would be any different. So, ceremonies for the day over and photos taken it was relax? Never.
Then what an evening of great enjoyment in the Military restaurant in the Centre of Bucharest where even though over booked! What wonderful friendship formed and renewed?

Camera shutters were clicking away as we viewed and recorded the fantastic architecture and decorations of this wonderful building. Taxi’s back to the Hotel and then “Rest”!

Saturday and the BIG day for the Mark degree in Romania the consecration of the “Mark Inspectorate of Romania” and the first “Inspector” our very own WBro Cristian Mihutoiu . Rehearsals over and Photos taken so as to give a clean exit for our festive board. Working under the safe guiding hand of the Grand Director of Ceremonies RWBro Francis Charles Spencer (my PProv GM Worcestershire) and regular visitor to my Worcestershire Lodge, the parade of the Pro Grand Maser entered with other RWBros, and WBros, including our own Prov Grand Master RWBro David Powell as SwdB, RWBro Derek Thomas, RWBro Tom Quinn PGM London, RWBro Ryan A Williams Grand Sec, RWBro Mike Whelan PGM Dorset, WBro Brendon Williams, WBro Wynford Jones, WBro Richard Paisley, RWBro Radu Balanecu &
WBro Chris Malpus on the keyboard.

The consecrating team for the Grand Inspectorate

What a ceremony, what a privilege to have been there it was a wonderful event.
After the formation of the Grand Inspectorate with WBro Florin Carata and WBro Adrian Dimitriu now in their respective Offices we were further entertained and educated in a daily advancement into the degree by no less than the Grand Master Lodge of Instruction and the ceremony of Advancement.

The Grand Inspector VWBro Cristian Mihutoiu receives his patent from the MWBro Raymond J Smith

WBro Adrian Dimitriu & WBro Florin Carata
Then a super festive board after a slight hick-up with the elevator! The festive board and toast and speeches over it was time to relax change and prepare for a Grand Gala dinner with our ladies and friends.
During the dinner we were entertained by wonderful artists including the children of the orphanage who were presented with a charitable collection from the brethren matched by GLMMM Charities.

The Children

Then it was back to reality lazy Sunday to watch the TV but I’ll not go into The score!

What a Fantastic start for a lodge consecrated in 2016 and then assisting in consecrating 7 Lodges in its first three years along with the witness of a Grand Inspectorate.

Bring on 2020

A Brief History Of The Mark Internet Lodge 1975 By W.Bro. Rev. Dr. Derek J. Oliver, PPGJW (Essex)

The Mark Internet Lodge No.1975 (TMIL)

The Mark Internet Lodge was a concept formed in the mind of W.Bro. Royston Morris, a Past Master of the Craft Internet Lodge No.9659 (East Lancashire). He recruited the support of several 9659 Past Masters, including myself, and members of the Lodge and persuaded the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of Monmouthshire, Rt.Wor.Bro. Derek Thomas that such a Lodge was a good idea. Fortunately he saw merit in the idea and the Lodge was Consecrated at Mark Masons Hall on June 4th, 2016 with Roy Morris as our Primus Master.

On November 12th, 2016, at our first Regular Meeting, in a small masonic hall in Castleton, just of the M4 between Newport & Cardiff, 5 Brethren of 9659 were advanced into the Degree. Those 5 were members of the Craft Grand Lodge of Romania, a very significant moment in the Lodge history!

Through their influence, our next regular meeting, held under dispensation, was in Bucharest, when we Advanced 32 Romanian Craft Masons on the first day and a further 29 more on the second, including the Craft Grand Master of Romania and most of his Executive. Then back to the UK for the next regular meeting in Blackwood, Monmouthshire and the installation of our second Master, WBro Michael Herman. November 2017 saw us again in Bucharest for a two-day event to Advance another 30+ candidates each day.

Our next meeting, in March 2018 was back in Bucharest and this time is not just more advancements but the consecration of the first Mark Lodge in Romania The Alexandru Valida-Voevod Lodge No 1988 by a team from Mark Masons Hall with the day ending in a wonderful Gala Dinner where were entertained with folk dances by the children from a local orphanage to which were delighted to make a considerable, charitable donation.

In June 2018, the second Romanian Lodge Nicolae Titulescu No1991 was consecrated, this time at Mark Masons Hall with our own Brother Cristian Mihutoiu becoming their first Worshipful Master. Then our our regular meeting was held back in Radlett, Hertfordshire before the next Romanian visit, this time to the Black Sea resort of Constanta in October, sadly out of season so very quiet and deserted! At Constanta we advanced yet more candidates into the degree followed by the third consecration, the Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993. November 2018 saw the installation of WBro Timothy Huckle in Chepstow.

2019 was no relaxation of our work with more journey’s to Romania, in April to the city of Iasi in the East where meetings include advancing still more candidates and the Consecration of Eugeniu Carada Lodge No 2004. Then, in May, to Timisoara in the West of Romania again advancing brethren into the Degree and the consecration of The Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010.

Our UK meeting in June, was in Portland, Dorset to Advance 1 British brother, but with equal enjoyment from the members. However we were very soon on our travels again this time to Sibiu in Transylvania for yet more advancement’s and the consecration of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011, Romania’s 6th Mark Lodge.

Coming right up to date, October 2019 and back to Bucharest for advancements, consecration of a new (7th) Lodge and the creation of the Grand Inspectorate of Mark Master Masons of Romania! An early start on Friday for the Lodges “emergency” meeting to advance 53 more, very keen masons from Bucharest into the Mark Internet Lodge No 1975 then after a brief snack lunch, it was quickly back into the Temple for the consecration of Romanian Mark Lodge Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No. 2015.

Saturday was a very special day for both the Mark Degree and for the Brethren in Romania with the consecration of the “Mark Inspectorate of Romania” and the first “Inspector” our very own WBro Cristian Mihutoiu .

Working under the safe guiding hand of the Grand Director of Ceremonies RWBro Francis Charles Spencer, the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master’s Team included our own Provincial Grand Master RWBro David Powel, our PPGM RWBro Derek Thomas as well as RWBro Tom Quinn PGM London, RWBro Ryan A Williams Grand Sec, RWBro Mike Whelan PGM Dorset, WBro Brendon Williams, WBro Wynford Jones, WBro Richard Paisley, RWBro Radu Balanecu & our own WBro Chris Malpus on the keyboard.

After the formation of the Grand Inspectorate we were further entertained and educated by the Grand Master Lodge of Instruction who demonstrated the ceremony of Advancement. Then another Gala Dinner and more dancing by the children of the orphanage, who received a charitable donation equivalent to £4,000.

What a truly wonderful start for a lodge only consecrated in 2016! We have assisted in consecrating 7 Lodges and witnessed the creation of a Grand Inspectorate.

And the story has not yet ended! The VW Grand Inspector (who, incidentally, is currently in the Chair of the Craft Internet Lodge) tells us there are plans to Consecrate another 7 Mark Lodges in Romania in the coming year with the first, again in the West of the country, being held on May 30th, 2020. Sadly, there will be few members of TMIL attending as we have our next regular meeting in Dartmouth on the same day.

That’s the story of our, somewhat unusual Lodge to date. From a concept in 2016 to a membership of several hundred and the formation of the Inspectorate of Romania in 2019! And we are still attracting members from all over the world. Our Secretary, Bro. Alan Breward is almost inundated with potential Joiners from all over the world, especially from the USA, and we have requests for Advancement from several more places “in Amity” with Mark Masons Hall. All get in touch with us through our web site, themarkinternetlodge.online, where a joining/advancement form can be downloaded.

We are very proud to represent this beautiful incredibly friendly degree across the UK and to promote membership throughout the world.

W.Bro. Rev. Dr. Derek J. Oliver, PPGJW (Essex)
Founder & Chaplain
The Mark Internet Lodge No.1975